Spellbound

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Salvador Dali & Ingrid Bergman on the set of Spellbound (1945, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Bergman: “It was a wonderful sequence that really belonged in a museum. The idea for a major part was that I would become, in Gregory Peck’s mind, a statue. To do this, we shot the film in the reverse way in which it would appear onscreen…I was dressed in a draped, Grecian gown, with a crown on my head and an arrow through my neck.”

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Spellbound

dali

Spellbound

Above: Salvador Dali’s design for the deleted ballroom scene in the dream sequence from Spellbound (1945, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Below: Gregory Peck & Ingrid Bergman in the ballroom scene

“In order to create this impression [of oppressiveness and unease], I will have to hang fifteen of the heaviest and most lavish pianos possible from the ceiling of the ballroom, swinging very low over the heads of the dancers. These would be in exalted dance poses, but they would not move at all, they would only be diminishing silhouettes in a very accelerated perspective, losing themselves in infinite darkness.”

[Spellbound producer David O. Selznick, worried about costs, decided to suspend miniature pianos from the ceiling. To correct the consequent problems with perspective, the studio employed forty dwarfs to dance in the scene]

“The miniature pianos didn’t at all give the impression of real pianos suspended from ropes ready to crack and casting sinister shadows on the ground…and the dwarfs, one saw, simply, that they were dwarfs. Neither Hitchcock nor I liked the result and we decided to eliminate this scene. In truth, the imagination of Hollywood experts will be the one thing that will ever have surpassed me.”

-Salvador Dali, Dali News, 20 Nov. 1945

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